Optimal health, holistic energy, and genuine peace: these are the three things that most accurately describe June Kelly, and what she is on a mission to share with the world. A certified herbalist with more than nine years of experience, June combines her extensive traditional Secwepemc wisdom with her formal training to provide custom herbal solutions designed to support her customers’ ideal health.
Growing up as one of nine children on Neskonlith Band land in Chase, British Columbia, June recognized from an early age the value and importance of family. She credits her mother, Nora Anthony-Narcisse, as her biggest influence, largely thanks to her mother’s determination to succeed through her own hard work and on her own terms. June’s mother taught her children to always take care of themselves by earning their own success, and not rely on the actions of others to help them get ahead in life. Nora guided June to understand her worth and intelligence, emphasizing the importance of getting her education followed by a career serving the Band.
June followed her mother’s advice, and led a successful career as a senior manager within the Neskonlith Band for the majority of her career. In her various roles, she was often hired into newly created positions and developed her own job descriptions and goals. She would then diligently research the needs of each community that she served to understand how to best meet their unique needs. June managed multiple province-wide programs for indigenous communities, working with anywhere between a single village to 203 First Nations communities at a time to help establish various social services within their communities. Over the years, these roles also helped her achieve success in her own personal herbal business, as she developed a vast network of connections throughout British Columbia and learned new skills along the way.
June left her career with the Band to pursue her dream of creating her own herbal product company, Up the Hill at Loakin, following in the footsteps of her great-grandmother who was a traditional medicine woman. Using wisdom passed down to her from her ancestors, June creates traditional herbal products and medicines designed to help her customers live their healthiest lives. Her product line offers organic, non-GMO herbal personal care and medicinal products, with ingredients harvested from their natural habitats in the wilds of British Columbia. With every recipe tested and custom-made by June, she is continually expanding the products available to her customers.
“I love that I am my own boss,” June explains of her career shift. “This doesn’t mean I slack off, but it does mean that I can take my business in the direction that brings me the most joy and I can still be of service to my clients.”
A typical day for June is waking up at 7:30 a.m., having her first cup of hot coffee, and then opening her laptop to check if any new product orders came in overnight on her Etsy or Facebook pages. She then posts to her Facebook business page, highlighting a product or service. Once her digital platforms have been checked and updated, she fills her herbal product orders or attends to administrative or office duties.
In addition to creating and filling custom orders, Up the Hill at Loakin currently presents her herbal products at group workshops and trade shows throughout the interior. But her dreams don’t stop there; June has big plans for the future.
“I am a woman with the drive to succeed. I care about my clients and customers, and I love to generate a high quality product for my clients.”
Within the next two years, June plans to have a fully staffed brick-and-mortar storefront available for local customers, as well as an established online presence and website where customers can access information and shop from the comfort of their homes. She is also in the planning stages of building a complementary company, Healing: The Medicine Woman’s Way, which will be a transformational program designed to teach her clients how to achieve their optimal health and emotional wellbeing using indigenous knowledge, values and herbal products. She plans to offer a speaking tour series and small-group workshops as part of her multi-company services, sharing her immense knowledge with communities across Canada.
One of June’s primary goals from a young age has always been to make her mother proud of her. Although her mom passed away more than 30 years ago, June has intricately woven her mother’s culture, wisdom and traditional teachings throughout the fabric of her business and personal life. A kind and genuine person motivated to help those around her be the best versions of themselves, June shares one-of-a-kind products, life-changing services, and contagiously positive energy with her family and community, and for that reason she has become a Woman to Watch.